LPFM: Movement in Congress?

It appears that the U.S. Senate may be moving toward a floor vote on the Local Community Radio Act. This bill originally began under the auspices of undoing the Congressional fiat in 2001 which severely restricted the promulgation of new low-power FM (LPFM) radio stations. By imposing draconian channel-spacing regulations on the new service, LPFM stations were precluded from being sited in areas of the nation in which 80% of the population lives.

The Local Community Radio Act has been the focus of a seven-year campaign to right this wrong. Most importantly, it would relax channel-spacing rules for LPFM stations (allowing them to be placed in more urban areas) and give LPFM stations a semblance of parity with regard to other classes of FM station. This would make LPFMs less susceptible to being bumped off the air by a larger station looking to move or otherwise modify its own transmission infrastructure. Read More

LPFM Lurches Forward

After several months of delay, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken another step forward in implementing its plan for new low power FM (LPFM) radio stations.

FCC staff have finished the official revisions to the LPFM plan mandated by Congressional action last year. More restrictive rules are now in place that put the majority of the American population out of reach of new LPFM station signals, and radio pirates of any kind are now permanently banned from participating in the new service. Read More

Screwed!

LPFM’s Demise

In the waning moments of 2000 Congress has performed a partial abortion of a plan to expand community radio. As part of the federal government’s new budget, the House and Senate have approved a law that trumps the FCC’s authority to move forward with a plan to legalize new low power FM (LPFM) station licenses.

The FCC’s original intent (nearly two years ago) was to create as many as 800 new radio stations around the nation by slightly relaxing interference rules on the FM dial; this plan – and the threat of the competition it would create – mobilized America’s broadcast industry to protect its turf. Commercial broadcasters even teamed up with public radio interests in an unholy alliance never seen before to oppose these potential new voices on the dial. Read More